Pregnancy is a magical and monumental experience – you are to literally grow another human inside your body, which is pretty crazy. And while it is undoubtedly a wonderful experience, there are so many changes in your body that it can be a confusing time, which is why it is so important to have knowledge of what is really happening. Although you may have heard of the more typical pregnancy side effects that request, stretch marks, the famous pregnancy glow and apparent weight gain, there are also many changes that people do not mention, especially when it comes to skin care. So if you are a first time mom it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
With many celebrities taking to social media in recent months to disperse pregnancy and mother myths in favor of discussing the real reality of pregnancy and post-pregnancy, we felt that there was no better time to discuss prenatal skin care. After all, it doesn't always look as glam as Beyonce at the Grammys …
So we talked to Rebecca Booth, M.D. OBGYN & co-founder of VENeffect Anti-Aging Skin Care and N.Y. board-certified dermatologist Doris Day (even a mother herself). They covered everything from skin changes that occur, the products you can use and the things you need to avoid.
But before we go into the details, it is important to note that every pregnancy is different and therefore it is always best to consult your OBGYN and dermatologist before making any changes.
Changes that occur during pregnancy
Dr. Day begins by explaining that "When you think about skin changes during pregnancy, it helps to think in terms of trimester because there are specific events that occur in each for both mother and child." There are three trimester, with each trimester lasting for three months. During the various trimesters, your hormone fluctuations will change your skin's condition significantly, so you may need to revise your beauty regimen accordingly.
Here's everything you need to know …
Early signs of pregnancy
Changes in the body as a missed period are the most common indication that you may be pregnant. However, Dr. Day that "one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, even before weight change, is changes in the nipples and breasts."
Your nipples swell because of “Hormone changes in increased progesterone and HCG that prepare your body to carry and maintain a new life. However, these can cause havoc on your skin! The breasts can become swallowed and begin to enlarge as early as the first trimester. The glands around the nipples are also often enlarged as early as the first 8 weeks and can drop from bras that are now a little tighter and from clothes. "
Trimester 1 (1-12 weeks / 1-3 months)
“The first trimester is when the fertilized embryo develops all its organs and structures. For this reason, it is time that we are most concerned about medications and products that can be absorbed and cross the blood-placental barrier that the child is dependent on for all its needs, "Dr. Day.
Products and medications can also affect your ability to conceive. Dr. Day says: "There are some products that you should avoid even if you are trying to get pregnant. These were called category X products (before the FDA eliminated products with pregnancy categories). A type of skin care drug used for acne called tazarotene (tazorac) are included in that category as well as Accutane (Roaccutane). These drugs should be avoided for at least one month before becoming pregnant to avoid devastating and catastrophic birth defects. "
Trimester 2 (13-26 weeks / 3-6 months)
Dr. Day reassures us, “The second trimester is often the easiest. Morning sickness goes, your energy level increases and there is a sense of relief that you are really pregnant. The child now develops physically but "matures" in other ways by developing the nervous system and other organs. They also start to increase in size, and you begin to gain weight with them as your blood volume and hormonal balance change. "
The third trimester (26-40 weeks / 6-9 months)
Now on the home stretch … Third trimester! "The third trimester is when you really start to" pop "and grow, which often leads to at least a few bar marks." Says Dr. Doris Day.
“Unfortunately, stretch marks are mostly genetic so it's hard to completely avoid them if you're prone to them. But it helps a lot to avoid excess weight gain and to increase at a regular rate rather than a lot at once. This is not easy as the child grows most of the growth in the third trimester and we cannot and should not control it, says Dr. Day.
How to Change Your Skin Care Test When You Are Pregnant
Dr. Day insists that your first call when you discover you are pregnant is to "See your pediatrician and dermatologist to review all of your skin care products and let them guide you on what is safe during pregnancy for skin and rashes."
But in general, Dr. Day that during pregnancy you should "Look for creams with shea butter, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. Also try to wear white cotton bra whenever possible. You should also try to avoid irritants such as physical exfoliators or glycolic acid and salicylic acid. "Dr. Booth adds that" Pregnancy increases sun sensitivity, so products containing SPF are important. If skin irritation or acne develops, spot treatment with spot solutions (such as those with calamine) is helpful. "
What to include in your skin care routine for pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is best to keep your skin care symbol simple and use gentle, moisturizing products. In general, do not try to overwhelm your skin with an overcomplicated routine and avoid trying new hard products as your skin is more sensitive at the moment. Dr. Booth suggests "A gentle cleaning regimen that contains natural precursors to BHA (like bark bark), followed by an excellent moisturizing product with SPF protection is the best plan." Dr. Booth also adds that "Periodic (at least twice a week) mild physical exfoliation helps the skin adapt to the rapid changes caused by the influx of hormones. the skin with phyto-nutrients and essential hydration. "
What ingredients to avoid when you are pregnant
Dr. Booth begins by explaining that the skin is extremely sensitive during pregnancy, so "what many women can tolerate in a non-pregnant condition or even postpartum would not be wise during pregnancy." Here are some things you should try to avoid:
AHA and BHA: "Although topical AHA and BHA are safe, they can cause more irritation than usual, and I generally do not recommend these during pregnancy," explains Dr. Booth.
retinol: Retinol is a vitamin A derivative and high doses of vitamin A have been shown to be harmful to the developing child. Although current formulations are considered safe, there are many alternatives, and it is wise to avoid retinas and retinoids during pregnancy. "Says Dr. Booth. Dr. Day adds, however, "Don't panic if you use it and find out you are pregnant. I usually tell my patients to stop using it when they know they are pregnant."
Hard products: "Pregnant women should avoid products with scent and harsh chemicals because of the increased skin sensitivity." For this reason, Dr. Booth also states that "pregnant women should not sunbathe and should avoid overheating as it can also trigger hives and rashes like PUPP [pruritic urticarial papules], "Which occurs in the skin as red, raised patches.
How to calm and calm pregnancy breakouts
“The hormonal changes during pregnancy, especially early, can also have a major impact on those who have acne. Some women feel that their acne cleans up and that they have perfect skin, while others notice an exacerbated acne during pregnancy. "Dr. Day. Unfortunately, she adds, "We are a little limited in the treatments during pregnancy because no one does clinical trials on pregnant women so the exact safety of most medications and products is not exactly known."
Dr. Booth and Dr. Day's Tips for Treating Pregnancy Abortions:
Use a spot solution: Dr. Booth says: "In pregnancy outbreaks, stain treatments with anti-stain solutions (such as those with calamine) are helpful, and current benzoyl peroxide formulations feel safe but may cause more irritation than usual due to increased skin sensitivity." Dr. Day adds, " In general, azelaic acid is considered safe. "
Clean and exfoliate: "Daily cleaning with an enzymatic system and arrow bark as well as periodic exfoliation with a physical exfoliant (2-3 times a week) helps clear away stains." says Dr. Booth.
Office Treatments: "There are devices like blue light LEDs that you can buy or have as an office in your doctor's office to help treat acne very well and safely during pregnancy. Another office I like is Isolaz. This combines photoneumatic therapy with suction and intensely pulsed light to do deep porn cleaning and kill the bacteria that cause acne without going deeper than the skin, which makes it safe during pregnancy. Another great addition, "I also like hydrafacials, because they do a good job of swallow the skin without traumatizing it. "
How to soothe the prenatal melasma
Melasma is a common skin condition that occurs during pregnancy. Dr. Booth explains that it is caused by "the placenta, which makes a large amount of hormones that stimulate melanocytes that cause increased pigmentation, especially with sun exposure." Dr. Day goes on to say "We are now learning that even pollution and some infrared rays can lead to melasma." However, Dr. Day that the good news is that "Now newer products are also working to protect against these."
To treat melasma, Dr. Booth a product containing phytoestrogens such as "Interesting phytoestrogens (estrogen-like derived from plants) blocks the enzyme that stimulates melanin, and current products with phytoestrogens have been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation." Her skin care line, VENeffect, was developed with phytoestrogens to safely and effectively lighten the skin and restore elasticity and brightness. It is also safe for pregnancy and nursing mothers.
Dr. Booth's three best tips for treating prenatal melasma:
Sun protection: "Sun protection is mandatory and is best achieved with a combination of an SPF product and protective clothing." We recommend using a sunscreen as they are more gentle on sensitive skin. check out 5 of our fave mineral sunscreens.
phytoestrogens: "A phytoestrogen moisturizer helps reverse and prevent melasma like the VENeffect Intensive Moisturizer, $ 185."
Daily cleaning: "Daily cleaning with an enzymatic system and arrow bark as well as periodic exfoliation with a physical exfoliant (2-3 times a week) accelerates the cleansing of hyperpigmentation."
How to change your diet during pregnancy
Eating conscious is always important but even more so when you are pregnant so you can support your child's health and well-being. Your diet can also affect your skin significantly. Dr. Booth confirms that “Diary recommendations have both positive effects on the skin and pregnancy. Focusing on healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts and nut butter helps stabilize the changing skin texture. I also recommend fatty fish (wild caught, low mercury) and omega-3s, all of which have been shown to have a positive impact on both pregnancy and skin. Foods with a lot of prebiotics, such as fruits and vegetables with high fiber, onions, garlic, leeks and lentils support a healthy microbiome in the gut, vaginal and skin. "
How to avoid stretch marks
Stretch marks are a part of life and extremely common during pregnancy. While they are nothing to worry about (check out these celebrities who proudly show off their bar marks), there are things you can do to prevent them or minimize their appearance.
Dr. Day tells us, "Stretch marks are mostly genetic so it's hard to completely avoid them if you're prone to them. But it helps a lot to avoid excess weight gain and to increase at a regular rate rather than a lot at once." Dr. Booth agrees, "Rapid weight gain can cause the collagen bridges in the skin to break, which can cause stretch marks in the abdomen and sometimes thighs and breasts. Most women do not need to take as much weight as their friends and relatives can encourage them to do. a healthy, balanced diet is essential, excessive calories can increase insulin production, cause inflammation in the skin and risk rapid weight gain. Fortunately, stretch marks disappear dramatically after pregnancy. "
Dr. Day says the best prevention is “Staying well hydrated by drinking enough water, as it helps the hyaluronic acid that is natural in the skin to hold water and has greater elasticity. Applying moisturizer is also very important. Look for ingredients like ceramides, shea butter and hyaluronic acid. "
“Coconut, avocado and olive oil have excellent fatty acids and some antioxidants as well, but sometimes the smell can be too strong for pregnant women who are often more sensitive to smell and may not like that smell. There are many excellent alternatives, says Dr. Day.
Especially when you are pregnant, it is always best to check with your doctor if you have any concerns about the products you use or any unexpected changes in your body. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.